Much scientific information concerning animal behaviour has become available only recently and it continues to increase rapidly. There is evidence indicating that the behavioural needs of animals have sometimes been neglected when natural life-style are replaced by artificially contrived ones. More attention to and study of animals' social and other behavioural requirements would be mutually beneficial to both man and beast. If those needs can be met more adequately, animals will be easier to handle, stress will be reduced and productivity improved. Animal welfare legislation in different countries is mentioned and ethological research as basis for new legislation discussed. The development in this critical field of Ethology and Animal Welfare is advancing fast and the South African Veterinarian must be aware of the new movement from Animal Science to Animal Rights.